The role of mental-modeling ability, content knowledge, and mental models in general chemistry students' understanding about molecular polarity

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The role of mental-modeling ability, content knowledge, and mental models in general chemistry students' understanding about molecular polarity

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10355/4829

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dc.contributor.advisor Barrow, Lloyd H. en
dc.contributor.author Wang, Chia-Yu, 1974- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-01-12T18:43:17Z
dc.date.available 2010-01-12T18:43:17Z
dc.date.issued 2007 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2007 Summer en
dc.identifier.other WangC-080807-D7760 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10355/4829
dc.description The entire dissertation/thesis text is included in the research.pdf file; the official abstract appears in the short.pdf file (which also appears in the research.pdf); a non-technical general description, or public abstract, appears in the public.pdf file. en_US
dc.description Title from title screen of research.pdf file (viewed on December 19, 2007) en_US
dc.description Vita. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.) University of Missouri-Columbia 2007. en_US
dc.description Dissertations, Academic -- University of Missouri--Columbia -- Curriculum and instruction. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study explored general chemistry students' thinking processes about molecular polarity and related concepts. The study employed a mixed-method design to reveal how general chemistry students use their conceptual frameworks and mental models to solve problems about molecular polarity. The quantitative phase collected students' background information, scores of course exams, as well as understanding and misconceptions about concepts of molecular geometry, polarity, and prerequisite concepts for a large sample size. The qualitative phase was guided by a theoretical framework of personal constructivism and a case study methodology. The primary data sources were video-taped interviews to document students' explanations and thinking processes. The secondary data sources were students' constructed artifacts and their responses to the items on the three diagnostic instruments. Grounded theory approach, employing a comparative method, was used for data analysis. Findings of the quantitative study indicated results of inferential statistics and identified students' misconceptions associated with concepts of electronegativity, chemical bonding, bond polarity, molecular shape, polarity of molecules, intermolecular force, and ionic lattices. For qualitative findings, I characterized high-, moderate-, and low-scoring students' mental-modeling ability, conceptual frameworks, and features of mental models while solving problems about molecular geometry and polarity. The major findings include that there is a positive interaction between an individual's level of content knowledge and mental-modeling ability, where one may facilitate or hinder the other. In addition, three prerequisite concepts were identified that may explain students' failure for learning about molecular geometry and polarity. I also found that metacognitive ability plays a significant role in a successful mental-modeling process. This study provides empirical evidence for how students' content knowledge, mental-modeling ability, and construction and use of mental models influence their understanding about molecular polarity. The findings have implications for college chemistry education for teaching concepts of molecular polarity. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Missouri--Columbia en_US
dc.relation.ispartof 2007 Freely available dissertations (MU) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Chemistry -- Study and teaching (Higher) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh College students en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Molecular theory en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Polarity en_US
dc.title The role of mental-modeling ability, content knowledge, and mental models in general chemistry students' understanding about molecular polarity en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Learning, teaching and curriculum en_US
thesis.degree.grantor University of Missouri--Columbia en_US
thesis.degree.name Ph. D. en_US
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_US
dc.identifier.merlin .b61535023 en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 184905345 en_US
dc.relation.ispartofcommunity University of Missouri-Columbia. Graduate School. Theses and Dissertations. Dissertations. 2007 Dissertations


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